New XK w/Rust / Possible Water Damage... need advice... RANT. - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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New XK w/Rust / Possible Water Damage... need advice... RANT.

Last night, after years of wanting a Commander, I finally bought one. On the way home, my new (to me) '07 Commander Limited, 4WD / QDII blew a speaker. [The navigation came over the radio while it was playing made an announcement and then the dash speaker started to rattle]. Which leads to my first question, is the navigation voice prompt supposed to play at the same time as the radio? You could hear both simultaneously but the voice was louder...

So, obviously, I was a little miffed as I had just dropped a pretty penny on the Commander and as soon as I left the lot something broke. So when I got home, I broke out the flash light for a more thorough run through. It being dark, I did my best at the dealership but I didn't notice a number of things until I got home.

After looking through the car again, I noticed one of the inside, back window hydraulic mounts is rusted. I also noticed some rust under the driver's side seat on the carpet (silver dollar sized and 1/16th of an inch tall).

Then on the metal pan under the driver's seat I noticed more rust spotting. Various bolts also seem to show signs of wear on the inside of the car. The under body looks pretty good but the exhaust and rear axles show pitting and significant rust. The rear portion of the exhaust is actually in very bad shape (past the cat. converter). I was surprised to see this on an '07 with 35k miles on it.

I was wondering if anyone else might have pictures of there rear axles that I could compare with mine. Even with offroading, I wouldn't expect this much wear.

I would also appreciate any comments on what the heck the rust is all about. I'm assuming some kind of water intrusion and I'm having a little buyer's remorse at this point. I love the XK, it is optioned out and beautiful but I need the darned thing to last me. I got a good deal but not enough to justify a lemon and I really don't want to pay another mechanic to look the thing over....

Any thoughts?

I will try to post pics tonight when I get home.

Any pic.s of rear axles, or similiar wear / tear would be very beneficial so I can gauge what is normal for an XK versus what are signs of flood damage. As a side note, the "Autocheck" Carmax uses didn't list any losses / crashes, flooding, etc...
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 11:15 AM
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Attached are a couple of photos from my backside... it's an '06 with 60K for comparison... light rust on my axle and shaft. How does yours look?
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2006 4.7L V8 QTII 4X4 Inferno Red

Coveting 2" lift, A/T rubber, cold air intake, exhaust, perhaps a bull bar or two...
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 11:33 AM
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With you living in Tampa, what is the chance the previous owner used it on the beach and continuously drove it through salt water? I grew up on Long Island and the salt air was very hard on vehicles, even if we never drove on the beach, which I always did. Did you/can you run a CarFax to see where the Jeep has spent most of its life? If I lived on/near the beach, I would definitely invest in rust proofing and undercoating if I were the original owner of a new vehicle. The salt and chemicals they use on the roads here in Indiana are not as bad as continuous exposure to salt air, but it is close.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Phog: I'd put it on par or worse than your pumpkin ball. The exhaust behind the cats is in real rough shape. Some of the worst rust I've ever seen (but I don't live up north).

dhh3: The autocheck that Carmax provides showed the vehicle was a fleet vehicle up in New Jersey and later, Virginia. I actually paid to have it transferred to Florida because it was exactly what I wanted. Even had the guy do two walkarounds before sending it and the rust was never mentioned. The body looks pretty good with no apparent rust but something is amiss. I called them today and we are putting it on the lift tomorrow a.m. to see how bad it is. Really not excited about the prospect of rust. Especially, with me living so close to the water.

When I get off work I'll post a few pictures.

I figured this autocheck thing was sufficient but I may have to bit the bullet and pay for a darned Carfax.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StateRoad42 View Post
I really don't want to pay another mechanic to look the thing over.
What does that mean?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 05:39 PM
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The pictures posted by PHOG show normal rust for being a northern car. Without seeing your pictures I would assume your seeing normal rust for the north which being in the south would shock the heck out of you. But a northern mechanic would not see that and think anything was wrong because thats actually not bad for the north. My speaker also crackles when the nav kicks in and just turns the music down a little bit. Also when your getting in and out up north your dragging in snow and salt which melts and if ignored could cause the floor pan to rust. If you buy a northern vehicle any vehicle you will see these same problems.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 05:55 PM
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I think some of these guys from down south would freak if they saw the bottom of my XK. Rust every where! Gotta love the salt they use in the winter for the roads. Id rather they just not plow or put down salt. Id still make it where i need to go in the Jeep.




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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 06:09 PM
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When I moved down here I brought two cars with me and every time we put them in for any service the first thing they said was Yup this is a northern car. I had a hard time selling my mustang down here because everyone freaked out about the rust underneath. LOL So when I shopped for my XK I insisted on a southern car and wanted the carfax to prove it. I'll never buy another car from up north.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 06:21 PM
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Welcome to the forum. You live in my hometown, lucky you ! From what I have seen, the northern vehicles have a considerable amount of corosion compared to even here in VA, much less down your way. The local Chevy dealer brought us a Suburban that they were selling, ( already sold ), wanting us to undercoat the bottom and cover up the rust. Of course we refused. They got it in trade and it spent its life in NY. The spare tire cable had rusted into and the spare still wouldnt drop down because it was rusted up in there somehow ! LOL !! I suggest a Carfax. It may not show everything but it will show salvage / total from flood damage. I doubt that is the case but have the dealer check it out for you. If you arent happy, have them find you another one. Good luck and keep us posted.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 10:40 AM
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I guess it comes down to how much you spent on the vehicle.

What you describe does NOT sound that unusual for a northern vehicle used on the salted roads during winter that is pushing 5 years old.

Keep in mind, Commanders and other Jeeps were desirable rental and fleet vehicles in bad winter areas of the country because of their poor weather abilities. So any used vehicle that has that background is likely to have more salt exposure than most.

We probably need some pics to see what your describing, but it sounds like surface rust to me, even it if its heavy surface rust, but in the areas you describe, like the thick metal of the axle, they can handle heavy surface rust without a problem. Fasteners and Brackets rusting is a classic sign of salt exposure and lack of thoroughly cleaning to combat it. Again, its usually NOT a problem until it reaches a certain point, heavily rusted on the bolt and the area around it, where it gets bad enough that the bolts seize, and then you have broken bolts in those areas if you need to do maintainance.

The rust spot in the carpet, would worry me, you need to pull it up and see what is going on under there. Carpets are know to trap moisture and promote rust, especially after it starts. Pulling it up now and treating the rust now, will pay off big, because it won't take long after rust starts under a carpet that you have rust through. Of course it could be just a coffee stain that looks like rust.

Is the exhausted rusted through in any areas? Stainless steel rusts, it just rusts much slower than regular steel, throw in lots of heat from the exhaust and lots of salt from the northern roads, its NOT unusual to see a stainless steel exhaust with lots of surface rust. The CAT and Downpipes are probably a higher grade of SS, that is why they are not rusted as badly. Perhaps the exhaust was replaced with a cheap mild steel replacement that is rusting through, but if its the original exhaust, I'm betting if you wire brush it you'll find a solid SS underneath still plenty thick and doing its job.

If you paid a lot for a low miles 5 year old vehicle, that the dealer garuanteed it was perfect and like new; then I think you've got grounds for a legit complaint.

If you paid a fair price for 5 year old vehicle, that the dealer presented as a 5 year old used vehicle, unless the rust you described is actual rust through, I don't think you've got much grounds for complaint. You're simply suffering shock from seeing typical wear we see up North, something you're NOT accustomed to down south.

A Saturday afternoon with a wire brush and a can of WD-40 (exhaust) and Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer and Black Paint should fix all your complaints.


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